Happy Feast of Christ the King! We wish our neighboring parish a happy feast day. May Christ the King bless you in a special way.
Once again, we have an Advent/Christmas reflection book for adults and an Advent work book for children that are available outside the main door of the church in a box on a chair. If you don’t get them at Mass, drive by and pick up your copies.
Remember our Advent reflection at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, December 1st. Safety measures will be observed. There will be a short presentation on change and transformation, quiet reflection time, and Benediction. I invite you to take advantage of this opportunity to enter prayerfully into the season of Advent.
Our Church year begins with the first Sunday of Advent and preparation to celebrate the birth of “the new born king” that the three wise men came to visit. Some king: wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger! The Church year ends this weekend with our celebration of Christ the King. But what kind of king? Our first reading from Ezekiel answers that, telling us that the Lord will be a shepherd for his people. In that short reading the Lord says “I” 11 times and “I myself” to emphasize it 3 times (I myself will look after and tend my sheep…I myself will pasture my sheep…I myself will give them rest…) This is not a king who lords it over others but rather one who cares deeply for them. All of Jesus’ life was a lived example of shepherding others, taking care of them, making them the center of His life.
This is a king whom we can emulate and our Gospel of the Last Judgment makes it clear we HAVE to emulate Him. Jesus gives clear criteria for being admitted into the Kingdom. It is not going to Mass, it is not observing rules, it is not belonging to a certain denomination. It is shepherding his people. It is using our material resources to feed and clothe those in need. It is sharing our time with those who are isolated for any reason. It is shepherding others as our circumstances allow. It can be easier to observe rules than to be inconvenienced by the needs of others. But Jesus makes it clear what is important.
I invite us to reflect on the past year. As I listen to the parable of the Last Judgment, am I more with the sheep or more with the goats? Have I improved this year? How can I do better?
et us resolve that, next year on this feast, we will be able to say we improved. And let us support each other with prayer and example. God bless.